|Location:||Pendeen, Cornwall. About 1.6 km west of Pendeen at Trewellard.|
Easter to OCT Mon-Fri, Sun 9-17, last admission 16, tours 10-16 hourly on the hour.
NOV to Easter Mon-Fri, Sun 9-16, last admission 15, tours at 10, 13, 15.
Adults GBP 7.50, Children GBP 4.50, Students GBP 4.50, Family (2+3) GBP 22, Senior Citizens GBP 7.
Groups (10+): 10% discount.
|Classification:||Tin Mine Copper Mine|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Address:||Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen, Penzance, Cornwall TR19 7EW, Tel: +44-1736-788662, Fax: +44-1736-786059 E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|2000 years BP||first evidence of mining.|
|1820||Levant mine opened.|
|1891||deep level minig ended.|
|1901||Levant North (Wheal Geevor) company formed by miners returned from South Africa.|
|1904||West Australian Gold Field invested in the venture and a new company was formed.|
|1911||Geevor mine floated as a modern tin mine.|
|1930||Levant mine closed.|
|1986||dramatic fall in the price of tin, the Tin Crisis, which caused the closure of the mine.|
|1990||Geevor tin mine finally closed, the pumps were switched off, the mine flooded.|
|1993||reopened as a Heritage Centre.|
The Cornwall peninsula is mainly a huge crystalline diapir, an intrusion of magma which cooled very slowly underground. The typical rock of those intrusions is granite, which is chemically similar to basalt, but has a really different shape. The lava at the surface cools very fast and so all minerals in the lava harden to a fine granulated dark rock. Magma underground cools very slowly, as the surrounding rock insulates the heat, so the result contains big patches of different minerals.
The lava cools slowly down, until the melting point of the highest melting mineral is reached. Then this mineral becomes hard, forming crystals floating in the hot lava, growing bigger and bigger. This happens again and again, until only one molten component remains, which fills all the gaps. Then the whole rock is hard, consisting of minerals and filler. This is typically granite, consisting of mica, feldspar and quartz.
The interesting process necessary for the Cornish mines, happens when ground water reaches the still hot intrusion. The rock breaks when it gets contact with the cold water, and the fissures allow the ground water to flow through the whole intrusion. The water is heated and is able to dissolute numerous ores and minerals, which are contained in the granite and the surrounding rock in a very low amount. The water transports those substances through the cracks and deposits them inside the cracks. This are typical ores for Cornwall: tin ores in narrow fissures crossing the granite diapir radially. From the coast they run towards the center of the peninsula.
Geevor Tin Mine is located close to the Cornish coast, the mine with its seven floors is rather deep and reaches far out under the sea. It was mined until late in the 20th century and so it is a rather modern mine. But as the pump engines were stopped when the mine was closed in 1990, the mine filled with sea water up to sea level. It is today not possible to visit the mine itself, except for a small part of the old underground workings close to the surface.
The surface area around the old headframe is very interesting. The headframe itself is of impressive size, at its foot is a small building with cafe and museum. It shows mining tools and historic documents and pictures. There are many products on display which were made of the tin from Geevor. A 3D model of the mine and a film give an impression of the size of this mine.
Another interesting site is Levant Mine, which is only a few hundred meters away. This mine was worked during the 19th century and closed in the 1930s. Later it was acquired and reopened by the Geevor Mine in the late 1960s and mined until both mines closed during the Tin Crisis. Today this mine site is managed by a different organization. There are no underground tours but a number of interesting mining related surface buildings which can be visited, like the old engine house with the Levant beam engine.
Other nearby mining sites are the Crowns engine houses of Botallack Mine. They are located on the cliffs edge, not far away on the coastal path.
Today the Wheal Mexico, a small mine typical of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, is guided.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has approved a GBP 3.8 million bid for building restoration and the creation of a major new museum around 2002. The project, which was planned to be completed by September 2008, included work on the biodiversity of the site. The area has become a sort of nature preserve since the mine has closed. Once opened by enthusiasts, the site is run by a charity founded by locals in 2001, the Pendeen Community Heritage.